‘It’s a bit too late for that, isn’t it?’
‘It’s never too late to spit at God Almighty. He lasts for ever and ever, amen. And he made us what we are.’
‘Perhaps he did, but Doctor Fischer didn’t.’
‘He made me what I am now.’
‘Oh,’ I said – I was impatient with the little man who had broken my solitude – ‘go up there then and spit. A lot of good may it do you.’
What a book! I can’t reveal too much about the plot without giving some of the twists away but this was a meticulous exercise in spunky, dark. twisted, cynicism – and I loved it. If you’re not a fan of Greene’s dark side, stay way away from this one.
In places, the eponymous Dr Fischer and his games actually reminded me of Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter character – except without the gore and cannibalism. The end of Dr Fischer reveals their differences in motivations, which was nice to read because it added another dimension to Dr Fischer.
‘It’s just to show the others that he can get you to come. He may try to humiliate you in front of them – it would be like him. Bear it for an hour or two, and, if he goes too far, fling your wine in his face and walk out. Always remember we are free. Free, darling. He can’t hurt you or me. We are too little to be humiliated. It’s like when a man tries to humiliate a waiter – he only humiliates himself.’
4* (out of 5*)